I set out this morning to make a chunky vegetable miso soup thickened with pearl barley, but then I realised it's St Paddy's day and miso is hardly very Oirish, is it begorrah? So, I figured I'm leave out the miso, amp up the herbiness and call this stand-your-spoon-in veggie stew-soup, 'Irish'. It was a chilly day and this rib-sticker hit the spot with 20 people, several of whom wrote nice comments in the dairy: 'I finally feel warm again'.
I used a kilo of pearl barley (pot barley might've been better, but that's for another time) and bought a selection of roots, including a couple of different types of turnip, parsnips and swede. And cabbage, nice Savoy cabbage. And some baby button mushrooms, just for the hell of it. I boiled up the barley with a couple of dessert spoons full of dried herbs, diced a mirepoix and sweated it while peeling and dicing the roots into 1cm cubes. I wok-fried the diced roots (and mushrooms) - as they do in Ireland - before adding them to the pot, then added the cooked barley, plus six litres of Marigold bouillon. Simmered the soup for fifteen minutes and finished it with shredded cabbage. Garnished with shamrock.